“Guess who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine?” my husband asks me, holding a copy of the Wall Street Journal in his hand. It was late, and I was completely distracted by the dogs, who had gotten into a box of styrofoam and strewn them all over the deck. “Three Circadian Biologists” he said smiling lifting the paper in the air. You may not have heard of the field of Circadian Biology, in fact there are doctors out there who haven’t heard of it either. Physicians as a whole obtain their knowledge through their training and textbooks. Circadian Biology has yet to hit the textbooks, but it is a good thing you are looking into this now and not waiting for it to be published in your future doctors medical school curriculum. If you have a curiosity about how the mechanisms in your body work, especially the mechanisms behind metabolism and repair functions, this is the field of study you want to keep up to date with. This field is yielding reams of knowledge on how better to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. From increasing your body’s metabolism beyond what you could achieve with diet and exercise, to increasing the rate of repair of organs, you can live better by learning to live ‘in sync’ with your own circadian rhythms.
The field of Circadian Biology started a little over 50 years ago, and this field now boasts thousands of researchers in all regions of the world. There is even a yearly Circadian Biology conference, like a Wanderlust gathering, it draws a crowd, but this is a crowd of the brightest minds and intellectuals who are dedicating their lives to helping us live longer and better. On the shoulders of their research, we are essentially as the editor of the Journal of Biologic Rhythms puts it “Like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants.” The scientists in this field have raised us all up, helping us to better understand the hidden behavior of our circadian genes, and how to activate them. It is not a small thing to unlock the key to the mechanisms behind our complex physiology. We as a community can now use this knowledge and apply it to our own health for the better.